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Bayview students want to attend prom

"Bayview High School students have never been able to buy a ticket to the South Whidbey High School prom. This year, several of the students would like to see the policy changed.Bayview is an alternative high school whose roughly 60 students chose not to attend South Whidbey High School. As a result, in Bayview's six years of existence, its students could never buy a ticket to the prom. Tickets are sold only to SWHS students in good standing, mainly juniors and seniors.Diane Moondancer, director of Bayview School, said she has from four to eight students this year who really want to go to the prom. But they can't attend unless South Whidbey High School accepts them.Moondancer strongly supports her students' effort to attend this year's prom. They shouldn't be punished for coming here, she said.Mike Johnson, SWHS principal, said there is some sentiment among high school students, staff and parents against allowing Bayview students to the big dance. It's a South Whidbey High School prom, he said, explaining the thinking of opponents. It's two separate schools.In past years, the few Bayview students who attended the prom were guests of students at the high school. Johnson said the same policy applied to home school students. We only sell tickets to (SWHS) students, he said.Johnson was reluctant to express his personal view of the situation, saying only that he will discuss the issue with Moondancer and the junior class organizers of this year's prom, which will take place June 2.Bayview School students are allowed to participate in South Whidbey High School athletics. Moondancer said two of her students play soccer at the high school.Tom Rowland, a member of the Bayview School board, made an issue of the prom policy by writing a letter to this newspaper. He said he recently found out about the prom controversy when reading comments made by Bayview students in an evaluation process.I'd never heard of this before, Rowland said Monday. I've worked with kids with learning problems and I'm well aware of the discrimination. By accepting athletes but not prom-goers, Rowland said the present high school policy is very hypocritical. "

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